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We Make Designer-Makers.

Today’s designers are routinely asked to make a choice. New approaches to industrial-age methodologies have begun to unravel the relationship between design and making, the designer and the maker spinning out into separate stories. Today’s product designer is asked to choose between these two narratives. 

The University of the Arts MDes in Product Design reunites these separate narratives. Comprised of students and faculty from around the world, the program shifts the inertia of the trade by reimagining and retooling relationships between designers, suppliers, manufacturers, and consumers. Founding our narrative upon the history of Philadelphia as city of industry, full of designer-makers who shaped the country itself, we leverage our diversity of insights, partnerships, and backgrounds, and empower students as designer-makers, as comfortable behind the machinery of manufacture as they are discovering human-centered solutions to real problems.

The history of design and manufacture is one of human ingenuity and determination geared always towards shifting what's possible. It is the story of a people dedicated to making the world better. Through mutually beneficial partnerships with local industry manufacturers, our students become fully prepared to enter industry, our partners become empowered with new purpose and profitability, and together, we produce innovative products that reflect a deeper understanding of the ties between thinking and doing— between designing and making.